Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic want Rafael Nadal to lose the US Open final, according to the Spaniard’s uncle Toni.
World No 2 Nadal needs to beat Daniil Medvedev to win the 19th Grand Slam title of his career.
Victory would take the Spaniard to within one of Federer’s all-time record and three greater than Djokovic’s tally.
And for that reason, Toni Nadal reckons his nephew’s rivals will be backing the young Russian Medvedev.
“Rafael faces a great opportunity,” Toni Nadal wrote in his column for El Pais.
“It is his 27th Grand Slam final, a fact that will give him some more peace of mind when it comes to the court, and a great opportunity to dangerously approach Federer and get away from Djokovic.
“I imagine that both will be pending an outcome that can tighten their pace or lighten something else.”
Meanwhile, Toni Nadal believes Medvedev has flown under the radar this year because of the charisma of other NextGen stars.
Rafael Nadal’s rivals apparently want him to lose the US Open final (Image: GETTY)
Rafael Nadal is the favourite to win the US Open title (Image: GETTY)
“Medvedev is probably the least known Next Gen tennis player,” he added.
“Or, at least, it has been so far. His game, as I said, is somewhat less orthodox and he, as a player, has a less colourful and captivating image than Stefanos Tsitsipas, Nick Kyrgios or Alexander Zverev.
“It is curious how the charisma or the lack of it, sometimes, lead us to make an objective assessment and, therefore, less accurate.
Daniil Medvedev is in his first Grand Slam final (Image: GETTY)
“However, seeing the progress of which the Russian has been able this year, we are facing a very dangerous rival and very much to consider from now on.
“He is a player without spectacular characteristics that are compensated, however, by a great tactic and by the balance of all his blows.”
Nadal and Medvedev are expected to get their US final clash underway at 9pm (BST).